Formerly known as the Myer Classic, the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes has attracted an outstanding field of fillies and mares to Flemington and it is shaping as one of the most open betting races on the Derby Day card.
Three-year-olds have a terrific record in this race recently and Amphitrite has opened the $4.60 favourite in 2018 Empire Rose Stakes betting.
Amphitrite has shown ability throughout her entire career so far, but she has returned to the track in scintillating form this time and has recorded four wins from as many starts. The daughter of Sebring made a successful transition to black type company when she won the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) two starts back, but it was her impressive performance to take out the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) last time that really caught the eye.
Dean Yendall won this race two years ago aboard I Am A Star and will pilot Amphitrite with only 50kgs in tow on Saturday.
Shillelagh has been a strong and consistent performer again this time and has continued to receive plenty of attention in 2018 Empire Rose betting; firming onto the second line at $8.
The Savabeel mare won the Group 1 Kennedy Mile (1600m) on Derby Day last year and continued to impress through a winter prep this year which peak with a close-up second in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1350m) most notably.
She’s finished fourth at each of her three appearances this time, including the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) most recently, and is rock-hard fit ahead of her fourth-up assignment.
Invincibella ($8.50) is primed for another big performance and is worth consideration at her current Empire Rose Stakes odds, while Aloisia ($9) and Oohood ($9) are the only other horses currently available at single-figure odds.
There is a case to be made for nearly every horse in this field and it would not surprise to see any of Eckstein ($15), Bring Me Roses ($31), or Invincible Gem ($34) in the winner’s stall.
Eckstein flew home to finish an agonizingly-close second in this race last year and recorded several good results this time, including a smart win in the Listed Paris Lane Stakes (1400m) two starts back.
Bring Me Roses has steadily built to the task this time and looks ready to do something third-up after hitting the line well for fourth in the in the Group 3 Powerflo Solutions Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley last week.
Invincible Gem is another mare that is ready to peak in form third-up, having finished sixth in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) and fourth in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) so far.
She’s been a stakes performer throughout her entire racing career and on her best form, she really does look overs in Empire Rose Stakes betting.